3D printing solutions developer Objet Ltd. has filed a prospectus with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to raise $100 million in an IPO at a company value of $500 million in late April or early May.
At the same time, however, interest in the 3D printing industry in general and in the Rehovot-based company in particular, gives Objet another option - acquisition by a multinational electronics and printer company for $500-600 million. So far as is known, there are no offers at the moment, or at least none at the company's asking price.
Objet had $150 million in sales in 2011 and has been profitable for many years. The company has offices near Boston, and in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo, Rheinmünster, and Gurgaon, India.
Objet was founded in 1998 by veteran Israeli printing engineers, including Gerson Miller, a founder of Idanit Technologies, which was acquired by Scitex Vision in 1998. Objet CEO David Reis also has decades of experience in the industry, having previously held positions at Nur Macroprinters, Scitex Vision, and Idanit.
According to IVC, Objet has raised $28 million from several investors, including Leon Recanati's GlenRock Israel. Scitex Vision sold its 23% in the company for $3 million in 2005, just before Scitex Vision was acquired by Hewlett Packard Co. (NYSE:HPQ), thereby writing off a multimillion dollar investment.
Objet's ink-jet printers use a liquid polymer that freezes to create the material from which the 3D product is built. The company sells printers, software, and the liquid polymer. Much of the company's R&D effort is devoted to this polymer.
Although 3D printers are more expensive than regular printers, prices are falling. A basic printer costs tens of thousands of dollars, and can rise to $250,000 for more sophisticated models. Most customers are electronics, vehicles, and clothing manufacturers that want a solid construct of a CAD image. Architects and designers also use 3D printers.
The 3D printer market is quite developed. Two public companies, Stratasys Inc. (Nasdaq: SSYS) and 3D Systems Inc. (NYSE: DDD) have market caps of $800 million and $1.15 billion, respectively, and both companies have robust growth rates. According to IBIS world, the global 3D printer market totaled $1.4 billion in 2011, and is set to double by 2016.
The company declined to respond to the report.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on March 21, 2012
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